If you are standing on Mars and looking at our planet, Earth, what is it like to see Earth and Moon from Mars? Yes, we know the scene would be pretty impressive. So, if you want to learn more about the scene, let’s keep over this blog and uncover what we have for you!
ESA’s Mars Express Rover Captures a Snapshot: Scene of Earth and Moon from Mars
Like a cosmic photographer, the European Space Agency’s Mars Express rover clicked an unassuming yet profound snapshot of our Earth from its Martian standpoint. This photo might not be the most flashy space picture you’ve seen, but it still carries a special feeling. This image stirs echoes of the iconic “Pale Blue Dot” – a distant portrayal of Earth, taken in the depths of space by NASA’s Voyager 1 back in 1990.
Carl Sagan, a scientist, was the first to call Earth a “pale blue dot” after this image of Earth and the moon from Mars, The Voyager 1 photo sparked a realization: Earth is the sole habitat we are certain sustains life. A gentle nudge prompts us to treat each other kindly and protect our shared home.
Now, we will see the significance of the “Pale Blue Dot.” Aside from this, we will also look at the urgent need for Earth’s protection and the challenges of climate change and environmental crises.
A Timely Reminder of Earth’s Fragility and Our Collective Responsibility
Over three decades have passed since the “Pale Blue Dot” photo, but its profound message carries even more weight in the current era. With our planet wrestling with climate change and various environmental issues, the responsibility of its stewardship remains an imperative reminder. This was a very crucial point when pictures were being taken of Earth and the moon from Mars.
The team running Mars Express shared these new photos of Earth to remind us of this. However, they pointed out that Earth appears to be about the same size as an ant seen from 100 meters away in these images. But that tiny dot is where all of us live. There needs to be ‘Planet B’ in our survival plan. Caring for Earth is a must, as we can’t simply relocate if things take a turn for the worse.
And if you want to see the new photos taken by the Mars Express and the view of Earth and Moon from Mars at different times, then keep reading this blog. We will also include a unique image taken on June 2, coinciding with the spacecraft’s 20th anniversary since launch.
20th Anniversary Celebration with Stunning Photos of Earth and Moon from Mars
The camera aboard Mars Express took these new photos. They show Earth and the Moon at different times in May and June 2023. The final image was born on June 2, the same day Mars Express was launched 20 years ago.
The Mars Express team didn’t take these photos for scientific purposes. They thought having a fresh picture of our home planet for the rover’s 20th birthday would be neat. The first-ever photo Mars Express took was of Earth and the Moon together. This was on July 3, 2003, while it was still traveling to Mars. The new photos from 2023 were taken from a much greater distance.
We will also have a keen and brief overview of the prediction of scientists in 20 years in the next paragraph. And the study by the European Space Agency.
Future Earth-Mars View: A Keen Prediction of Scientists in 20 Years
A scientist from the Mars Express project mentioned that in about another 20 years, humans might have the opportunity to view Earth and the moon from Mars with their own eyes. Moreover, the European Space Agency has been studying Mars from space and the planet’s surface for quite a while. Their next primary goal is to send humans to explore Mars.
Now, if you are interested to know more about the details of the view, then this part is just for you!
Let’s See the Keen Details of Earth and Moon from Mars
The image is a result of combining two distinct exposures captured on November 20, 2016, using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. These exposures were explicitly taken to calibrate the HiRISE data by utilizing the well-known reflectance of the moon’s side facing Earth.
The exposures were processed separately to enhance the visibility of details on both Earth and the moon. It is worth noting that the moon, being considerably darker than Earth, would hardly be discernible if displayed at the same brightness level as Earth.
Let’s dig deep into the sizes, and positions of the the view.
What are the Relative Positions & Sizes of Two Celestial Bodies?
The combined image accurately represents the relative positions and sizes of the two celestial bodies. The distance between Earth and the moon in this image is approximately 30 times the diameter of Earth. Although Earth and the moon may appear closer than their actual separation, this effect is due to the planned observation timing when the moon was nearly directly positioned behind Earth from the perspective of Mars, allowing for a clear view of the moon’s Earth-facing side.
In this image, the reddish feature near the center of Earth’s face corresponds to Australia. When the component images were captured, Mars was approximately 127 million miles (205 million kilometers) from Earth.
Since 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, equipped with HiRISE and five other instruments, has been engaged in exploring and investigating Mars.
In the conclusive part, we will answer the frequently asked question.
Can We See Earth and Moon from Mars?
When viewed from Mars, the Earth shares similarities with Venus as an inner planet, resembling a “morning star” or “evening star.” To the naked eye, the Earth and Moon appear as star-like points of light. However, when observed through telescopes, they would display crescent shapes, revealing some discernible details.